Lafayette, Louisiana, is located in southwest Louisiana along the Vermilion river. It has a population of approximately 126,185. The city is also the parish seat of Lafayette Parish. It is the fourth largest city in Louisiana. Lafayette’s greater metro area has just under 500,000 residents.
Lafayette is home to a vibrant arts community that includes the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music. Other notables include the Lafayette Concert Band and Dance Conservatory, the Lafayette Ballet Theater, and the Lafayette Ballet Theater and Dance Conservatory. It is also home to a variety of festivals and events that take place annually, including the second largest Mardi Gras. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is located in Lafayette, as are the six best neighborhoods.
The US Census data show that this part of Louisiana has been growing. In the period 2010-2020, 20,000 more people moved to the Parish. From 2020 to 2021, it grew another 1%.
This growth is a sign of demand in the local real estate markets. Data from April 2020 to February 2023 indicates that median sales prices are relatively stable. March 2023 showed a median home price of $245,900 and 1,124 homes for sale in Lafayette, almost the same as in March 2022.
Lafayette offers a wide range of properties that can be tailored to meet your needs. You can own a ranch in or near the town. It may even have some waterfront. You can also live in a historic antebellum home in a well established community. Active adult communities, downtown condos and gated communities are all options that will suit your taste.
Best Lafayette neighborhoods
Now that we know a little bit more about Lafayette, let’s explore the best neighborhoods in Lafayette to live in. Or, if you want to live outside of the city, you can check out the best suburbs of Lafayette.
The beautiful village of River Ranch completely transformed Lafayette’s South Side. This community, built on 300 acres and centered around a Town Square in the center, is a shining instance of New Urbanism. Over 2,500 people now live in one River Ranch community.
A lush village green surrounds the Town Center. It is a mixed-use area that includes apartments and retailers. The Town Square is alive when the weather cools down with the Rhythms on the River concerts every Thursday and other special events that are held year-round. Market at River Ranch is a pedestrian-friendly area where you can find essential clothing and groceries.
You’ll find seven different architectural styles as you stroll along the wide sidewalks. Uptown, for example, was inspired by New Orleans’ Garden District while River Oaks combines various styles in a grove of century-old oaks.
River Ranch homes are listed by their communities. This includes condominiums, single-family neighborhoods, and townhomes. In March 2023, the central River Ranch market featured 14 listings at a median list price of $824.500.
You don’t want to go too far, but still get away? Greenbriar Estates is located on West Bayou Parkway. Although locals describe it as a quiet area, this part of town has plenty to offer. Moncus Park, Rotary Point Park, Red Lerille’s Health & Racquet Club, the movie theater, and other amenities are just minutes away.
Doucet Road provides easy access to Lafayette’s Johnston Street amenities, such as Drago’s or Social Southern Table. J. Alleman Middle school is located on Bayou Parkway, across Roselawn Boulevard.
Greenbriar Estates listed five homes at a median price of $562,000 by March 2023. Some homes are located along the Vermilion river.
This historic area of Lafayette is named for the Saints-named streets: Patrick, Joseph, Mary and Louis.
Saint Streets, located just north of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and west of Downtown, is a charming neighborhood with colorful, quaint houses, all under the shade of magnificent live oaks. Some historic homes have their original finishes like stained glass windows, cathedrals ceilings and exterior decorative items.
The nearby UL Lafayette athletic complex and football stadium allow sports fans to cheer on the Rajin’ Cajuns year-round! Many residents can hear the Cajundome’s excitement from their own backyards.
The Louisiana Science Center, Rock’ n’ Bowl de Lafayette and other attractions are close by. Olde Tyme Grocery is a Cajun favorite. Or, treat your tastebuds to a brunch at Saint Street Inn.
Bendel Gardens, located on the banks of the Vermilion river in central Lafayette, is a peaceful haven. This area is popular for its rich history, proximity to University of Louisiana-Lafayette and shopping centers, Girard Park and Heymann Performing Arts Center.
It was once known as Walnut Grove Plantation, but it has changed over the years to become what we know today: a beautiful residential subdivision of 150 acres with stunning river-facing homes. According to legend, the magnolias along Marguerite Street were once part of the driveway that led to the plantation house. In the neighborhood, the carriage house has been renovated and is now a home. You can see historical markers on the sidewalks. The Battle of Vermilion was fought in this community.
Bendel Gardens offered two homes at a median price of $1,13 million in March. Some homes offer waterfront views or views of the water.
Whittington oaks, a small community south of Lafayette, Louisiana, stretches almost all the way to Johnston St. from the Vermilion river. This charming neighborhood seamlessly blends convenience and tranquility as it is just a few steps away from major city connectors like Camellia Blvd and Johnston Street. River Oaks, the Village’s Town Square and Johnston Street are all just across the river.
Whittington Oak offers a variety of sizes and styles. The neighborhood is established, offering a range of homes from 1,400 square feet in mid-century style to 6,000 square feet in contemporary. Beautiful moss-draped trees and springtime Azaleas are part of the picturesque landscape. You can find the desired riverfront access and views. Whittington Oaks offered four homes in March 2023, with a median price of $385,000.
This National Historic District has its roots in the Civil War, when it was once a refuge for former slaves. Modern Freetown is a vibrant and popular neighborhood, known for its eclectic but welcoming vibe.
It’s not only a short hop from the downtown area and the University, but there are also many unique places to visit. The Blue Moon Saloon has a great music scene, and the Borden’s Ice Cream Parlor is the last one on earth. Freetown is home to a Neighborhood Association or “coterie” as the locals refer to it. This association works hard to preserve Freetown’s historical character and its diversity of people and businesses.
The local homes are available in a variety of styles from Craftsman to Tudor. The historic district is made up of 677 buildings. If you like character in your home or enjoy restoring older buildings, then this may be the area for you.
Lafayette, located along the Vermilion river south of the downtown area, offers many of the neighborhood’s scenic views and riverfront accessibility to those who are interested in moving there.
Lafayette is home to a variety of festivals and events. The Cajun Heartland State Fair, which takes place on the grounds of Cajundome & Convention Center for 11 days, is one example. Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, an annual festival series celebrating the city’s Cajun-Creole culture.
Lafayette’s best neighborhoods also place a high value on the performing arts. The city is also home to live theater and ballet. It also hosts the Festival International which features art and music.